HOLLY LANE – Toni Blake
A Destiny Novel
ISBN: 978-0-06-202460-2
November 2011
Contemporary Romance

Destiny, Ohio – Present Day

The past several months have been difficult for Sue Ann Simpkins after her sudden split (and divorce) from Jeff when he found another woman. All Sue Ann wants is for her daughter Sophie to enjoy the holidays despite the fact that their lives are different from a year ago. The Thanksgiving weekend is going to be especially hard as Sophie stays with her dad as part of his visitation rights, so Sue Ann decides to spend it in a cabin at a nearby lake for some time alone. But after she arrives, Sue Ann discovers her idyllic time is going to be shared by Jeff's best friend, Adam Becker, who also rented the cabin. A sudden snowstorm and Sue Ann's soft heart leads to Adam spending the night.

Adam thinks Sue Ann is a beautiful, wonderful person and he can't see why Jeff was stupid enough to leave her. Adam has his own problems as a single dad and came up to the cabin to spend time alone after his boys are whisked by his ex to Colorado for the entire holiday. He misses them, but Sue Ann's sweet nature and his attraction to her has his weekend suddenly turning bright. Before either Sue Ann or Adam knows what's hit them, they're having sex. Sue Ann puts the brake on any future trysts, even as Adam wants to entertain the idea of a relationship with her. But can there be any future with a woman—whose heart still hurts from the breakup of her marriage—for a man who represents the past with her ex?

Sue Ann's world came crashing down when Jeff left her for another woman. Slowly and surely she's worked her way through the pain to begin another life as a single mother, but the holidays are proving to be a tough barrier to hurdle. Going away to an isolated cabin to mope in her tears and fears has her coming face to face with a man from her formerly happy life…Adam. Despite everything, Adam continues to be nice and helpful to Sue Ann, yet that weekend something changes in their relationship. While she never looked at Adam as other than a friend, suddenly he's a desirable man and they can barely keep their hands off each other. Afterwards, Sue Ann feels as if she's betrayed their friendship and lets him know they can't do this again. But Sue Ann and Adam continue to run into each other, which of course, leads to more passionate encounters.

Adam finds himself torn between a woman he desires, Sue Ann, and a lifelong friendship with Jeff. Add in the fact that Jeff wants Adam to testify in a court hearing about stopping Sue Ann's alimony payments, and he's caught between a rock and a hard place. Can he have any kind of future with Sue Ann once she's ready, or should they just remain friends? Clearly he can't have it both ways. Adam works his way through the holidays as a man many in Destiny look to for help. First he's disguised as a reindeer, where he's flirting with Sue Ann. Then he is Santa Claus and promising Sophie a reindeer for Christmas. This promise, of course, gets Sue Ann angry, because she's trying to make it the best Christmas she can for Sophie, and broken promises from Santa aren't part of the plan. As Christmas draws closer for Sue Ann and Adam, the harder it becomes for them to ignore their feelings. But dare they take the next step?

Toni Blake has penned a truly wonderful tale in HOLLY LANE that is filled with the holiday spirit, romance and, of course, a happily-ever-after is destined for a couple who thought their lives were swirling downward despite the time of the season. If you're looking for a fun, sexy, and uplifting book to read for the holidays, then I highly recommend that you put HOLLY LANE right there at the top of the list.

Patti Fischer